Painting the Balgat water tower
Way back in '68, or maybe '69, me and a friend (I think it was Tim Arnold) decided it would be cool to paint the numbers 71 on the Balgat water tower. Actually our intention was to paint over the numbers someone already put up there...sure looked easy.

Since "tagging" the water tower was strictly a no-no we figured out-something that kinda happens when two 15 year old idiots get their minds in sync- that to paint "71" on the tower and escape with our lives, we would have to do it at night.

It's too long ago to remember the minute details of our nefarious endeavor but I do recall the paint and brushes were there when we showed up.

Since you could'nt get on the base at night, we had to climb over the chain link perimeter fence near the tower. The fence was topped with barbed wire, which gave us some trouble, but we managed to get over it without getting too ripped up.

Next was climbing the tower itself. What I didn't count on was that skinny little iron ladder and my newly discovered fear of heights. I musta froze six times going up, with my partner in crime telling me in, a loud stage whisper, not to look down. The worst part was getting on that narrow concentric cat walk and having to lean backwards over the safety rail in order to paint the REALLY BIG NUMBERS. The reason you had to lean backwards-which I did'nt count on at all- was because the tank was a big ball and the catwalk was pretty much at the bottom of it. I could'nt wait to finish.

Once the crime was committed we made our way back down (I reckon it took me about six hours, doing one rung at a time). Once safely on land we climbed back over the fence and walked back to the main road to catch a cab back into town. On the way back to the main road something else happened that I'll never forget.

It was pretty late at night and we were worried about what time it was. As we were walking past the guard shack of the Turkish military base I figured I'd just ask the Turkish soldier standing guard what his watch said. When I got about 20 feet away he answered me by unslinging his M1 rifle and aiming it right at me. Without saying a word he indicated exactly what time it was...and I was late. It was precisely one minute past better haul butt outa there.

I'm pretty sure this all happened in winter. I vaugely remember it as being plenty cold that night.

Best to all.

Eric '71
Posts: 6 | Location: Switzerland | Registered: October 03, 2004Reply With Quote
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Eric; I remember the '71 on the water tower. -your writing is great by the way. I think now that you've confessed, the U.S. govt is going to be billing you for damages. They'll use the program Bill Clinton started to collect old delinquent govt student loans.
You were in Arsenic and old Lace? And you were very very good. I noticed Mr Dawson the drama teacher is in the directory and lives like in the deep south. Remember his penthouse apartment -cast party- red ceiling and black walls. We all wanted to be 'hippies'.
Keep the great stories coming, a good read.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Hallmonitor,
Posts: 37 | Location: Riverside,California | Registered: December 16, 2004Reply With Quote
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